Heroin, a product of the opium plant, is a widely known opioid street drug. Addiction to this drug impacts your health in a multitude of ways. While mental issues are common, the signs of heroin addiction may also be physical in nature. Awareness of these physical signs may help alert you or a loved one the need for treatment.
Why Do Heroin Side Effects Occur?
Most people start using heroin because the drug produces a sense of euphoria, an intense pleasure. However, due to the drug’s potency is very common for a dependency to develop after just one use. This is when brain chemistry is altered, leaving the individual dependent upon the drug to trigger not just a sense of euphoria but any other release of necessary chemicals to regulate pleasure and pain. Without the drug, the body begins to experience many unwanted side effects.
Why do these heroin side effects occur? Inside your brain, the drug alters your normal balance of chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals are what allow your brain to communicate with its individual cells. In turn, those cells communicate with all other parts of your body. By throwing off your chemical balance, heroin creates a chain reaction of altered functions. Some of these functions help control psychological things such as the way you:
- React on an emotional level
- Keep control over your behaviors
However, the functions that control your physical health are also affected due to heroin use.
Physical Effects of Heroin Addiction
The key physical effect of heroin addiction occurs in your brain, not your body. As noted, the presence of heroin creates a chemical imbalance. Your brain will try to correct that imbalance. However, this is a losing battle if you keep using the drug. Eventually, your brain will simply accept heroin as a normal part of its chemical mix.
At this point, you have developed one of the major criteria for addiction: physical dependence. This dependence means that your brain has a physical need for heroin. When such a need is established, full-blown addiction is usually not far away. There are also many other potential physical effects of heroin addiction. The list of these effects includes:
- Abdominal cramping
- Male impotence
- Altered menstrual cycles in women
- Infections in your heart’s muscle tissues
- Pneumonia or other lung problems
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
You may also experience problems related to how you use heroin. That includes such things as damaged nasal tissue or collapsed veins.
Healing Through Heroin Addiction Treatment
Proper treatment can help you recover from many of the effects of heroin addiction. As a rule, appropriate recovery plans include medications that help you stop using heroin and establish sobriety. Heroin addiction treatment also commonly includes therapy that prepares you to maintain your sobriety long-term.
However, some of the physical effects of heroin addiction may be long-lasting or even permanent. Examples here include damage to your heart, kidneys, or other major organs. It’s far better to seek treatment before you develop such serious and possibly irreversible health problems.
Turn to Treatment Connection for Quality Heroin Rehab Resources
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